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The Kite Runner. Symbolism in the novel By Sarah Scott. Kite Symbolism.

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the kite runner

The Kite Runner

Symbolism in the novelBy Sarah Scott

kite symbolism
Kite Symbolism

:-Kites are mentioned frequently throughout the book. The title being named ‘the kite runner’ gives the reader an instant indication of not only the significance of kites throughout the story but also who the term ‘ the kite runner’ symbolisesand represents.

:- In chapter one of the novel we have the first mention of kites. Amir mentions seeing ‘a pair of kites’ in the very first page. In his description of the kites we are aware of the colour symbolism the author uses, describing the two kites as being ‘red with long blue tails’. This can be interpreted as symbolising the colours of America (red , white and blue) and therefore symbolising what America stands for such as freedom. Although kites do represent freedom to an extent , we can also say that what they truly represent is a restraint from true freedom due to the freedom that the kite itself has from souring in the sky , yet it is kept under control and is being restrained by its owner or the possessor of the kite by the string its attached to.

kite symbolism1
Kite Symbolism

:- The kites in the story can also symbolise the class division which is apparent between Hassan and Amir. This is shown in the kite fighting competition where we are told of how Amir controls the kite while Hassan feeds Amir the string. This is symbolic as it symbolises how Hassan caters to Amir in all the different aspects of the boys life yet it is Amir who is the sole benefiter of all that Hassan does. Even in the competition when it is a joint effort between the boys in cutting down the rest of the kites , it is Amir who gets all the glory for winning the tournament.

the monster in the lake dream
The Monster In the Lake Dream
  • This is the dream Hassan tells Amir about the morning of the kite fighting competition. This dream can be interpreted as being highly symbolic for a few reasons. The dream is about the fear of a monster lurking in the water yet Amir faces his fears and plucks up the courage to confront it by going in the water and face the challenge head on, he is able to overcome the fear. It is symbolic to the plot of the story that its being hinted that something is lurking in the shadows which is very relevant later in the chapter.
  • Also the dream is symbolic to the fact that Amir faces up to the challenge by taking on everyone and winning the competition when crowds are watching just like they were in the dream.
  • Blood is another thing which is mentioned frequently throughout the book. Blood is incredibly symbolic in chapter seven especially. In the beginning of the chapter we read about Amir having blood on his hands. Having blood on your hands symbolises guilt so Amir having blood on his hands symbolises the overwhelming guilt that Amir will soon experience due to the impending rape that he will witness.
  • Spilled blood is very significant in this chapter. Spilled blood represents sacrifice. This then indicates that Hassan is to be thought of as a human sacrifice due to the idea that he suffers and bleeds for the sake of Amir winning the kite fighting competition and being able to give Amir the winning kite.
the pomegranate tree
The Pomegranate Tree
  • The tree symbolises the relationship between Hassan and Amir. At the peak of their friendship the pair claimed the tree as their own by carving their names into the tree. They would spend countless hours under the tree where Amir would read to the illiterate Hassan and they would both share their love of literature. It becomes symbolic that the tree represents their relationship as we read about how Amir, fuelled with guilt and anger, takes the fruit from the tree and hits Amir with the fruit in a way to provoke him into giving Amir a physical punishment to lessen his guilt. All Amir does is break the fruit over his own head.
  • Years later after Hassan is dead and Amir has returned again to the tree as an adult , we read how the tree is fruitless and dead. This symbolises the deterioration in their relationship and how the friendship died due to the anger, guilt and betrayal all those years ago.
hare lip
Hare Lip
  • Very symbolic throughout the story as when Hassan finally gets his cleft lip fixed and has the true ability to properly smile, we do not hear of Hassan smiling again due to the deterioration in the two boys relationship and the rape Hassan endured.
  • Also highly symbolic due to the only point that Amir finally feels at peace and guilt free is when he is brutally beaten and is left with scars and injuries, one being a burst top lip similar to Hassan’s hare lip. The scar that is left of Amir symbolises the brotherhood between Hassan and Amir due to Amir now looking similar to Hassan.